Read Exodus 14:5-8, Exodus 15:1-6 and Matthew 12:38-42)
“Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, ‘I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.’” (Exodus 15:1)
As I was going through today’s readings, I immediately started singing Don Moen’s song: God will make a way, where there seems to be no way, He works in ways we cannot see. He will make a way for me. He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side. With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way, He will make a way. By a roadway in the wilderness, He'll lead me, and rivers in the desert will I see. Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will still remain, and He will do something new today….
Slavery is such a grave evil humans inflict on one another. Slavery begins with a basic lack of respect for the dignity of a fellow human being. Every time you look down on others or deny them of their human rights, every time you exploit others talents, energies and time against their will and without adequate and proper remuneration, know that you are no better than Pharaoh and his household. The painful reality is that despite the fact that we are Christians, slavery continues to happen in our homes today under the guise of house helps, apprentices and the likes.
One thing we need to understand about slavery is that it is not only the slave that suffers, but the slaver is also equally affected and destroyed. This is the point Asa, the musician made when she sang “I’m in chains, you are in chains too. I wear uniforms, you wear uniforms too.” Lack of respect for your fellow human being does not make you a higher species.
The real impact of slavery is not so much the physical wounds inflicted on people but the psychological destruction it brings within a person. The slave begins to think of himself in such low terms that he craves for and worships his master. This is the stage of surrender! In the presence of his master, he is overcome by fear. This was the type of fear that gripped the Israelites in the presence of Pharaoh. They even said to Moses, “where there no better tombs in Egypt that you brought us out here to die?”
That was when Moses sang: GOD WILL MAKE A WAY. Be still. Be calm. Relax. Fear Not. Just watch and see. Let God fight for you. Do not be in a haste to act. These Egyptians you see now, you will see them no more. Each time, we are consumed by fear, we should remember this encounter. Never underestimate the power of God. Be calm, and know God knows how to make ways where there is none.
While our first reading today tells the story of a powerful miracle that proved God’s Divine intervention in the life of the people, our Gospel passage gives a very different message. The Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign and in response, Jesus told them that only an evil and adulterous generation would be seeking a sign; that the sign of Jonah was enough. The lesson we learn from this episode is simple: “We do not need signs to believe (otherwise God would have to prove Himself over and over again) but once we believe, we would begin to see great signs and wonders.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, save me from fear. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of week 16 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Exodus 14:5-8, Exodus 15:1-6 and Matthew 12:38-42).